The great amplifier. How to recover from COVID-19 and create a more just society

GROWINPRO’s first animated infographic aims at providing an innovative way to present the project’s main policy proposals to steer the recovery toward a more sustainable society

Since its outbreak in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted over 3 million deaths worldwide, leaving barely a country untouched and revealing to be one of the most disruptive events since WWII.

The pandemic has also proved to be more than a health crisis. And rather than being a great equaliser, it has been a great amplifier, worsening many of the already existing inequalities.

Across the essential areas of health care, employment, gender equality and education, there are very clear signs that the poor, women, minority ethnic communities, the elderly and the disabled are suffering the most.

The development of a vaccine has been hugely supported by public financing, but the production is exclusively assigned to patent owners. While high-income countries have pre-ordered enough doses to cover their populations several times over, the rest of the world has been left with potentially too few doses to cover even their most at-risk communities. Vaccine nationalism risks to jeopardize the recovery.

In the past months, GROWINPRO has been working to provide analysis and policy proposals which help to create a more just society. The project’s animated infographic, released today, aims at providing an innovative way to present the project’s main proposals on how to steer the recovery toward a more sustainable society.

“It is urgent to divert a path taken by capitalist economies based on inequality, rents and marketization”, said GROWINPRO’s researcher Maria Enrica Virgillito: “The purpose of the infographic is to shed new lights on how to do it in pandemic and post-pandemic time”.

GROWINPRO policy proposals are focused on four main areas: health policies, research and innovation policies, redistribution policies, and labour policies. They include the following measures:

  • A progressive and redistributive fiscal policy, like wealth and digital taxation schemes, as the most urgent policy action to revert inequality.
  • Tax revenues and transfers from the NEXT GENERATION PLAN, the European recovery plan, should be directed toward a massive refinancing of public health and education, the two pillars of the welfare state to cure our ill societies.
  • Paid furlough schemes, universal protections and income guarantees to reinforce working rights.
  • Teleworking should be contractually regulated, ensuring workers privacy, protecting against abuse of monitoring, control of performance and work overload. Right to be disconnected should be allowed.
  • Public project financing of frontier research in new drugs, antibiotic resistance and vaccines.
  • Intellectual property rights on vaccinations should be relaxed. Under the international regulation (TRIPS agreement) compulsory licencing can be enforced in case of national emergencies, other circumstances of extreme urgency or public non-commercial use. Compulsory licencing would allow to overcome unnecessary production shortages.

Play the video on our YouTube channel